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April 2017
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Editorials - Pickens Progress Online


Barn at Flannery O'Connor's Andalusia to be restored


barn at andulsia 
Last April the Hill House at Andalusia received an award for "Excellence in Restoration" from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.


ATLANTA, June 13 - The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation will give a $2,500 grant to the Flannery O'Connor-Andalusia Foundation to help restore the historic cow barn at Andalusia, home of fiction writer Flannery O'Connor. Last April the 544-acre farm in Milledgeville, Ga., hosted nearly 500 guests as a dinner venue for the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's Spring Ramble and the Georgia Statewide Preservation Conference.
Since being placed on The Georgia Trust'sPlaces in Peril list in 2006, Andalusia has completed several restoration projects and is pursuing others. With assistance from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division's Georgia Heritage Grant and donations from the Knight Foundation, City of Milledgeville, and Friends of Andalusia, the water tower behind the main house was fully restored in 2007. The next year, a grant from the Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board in Milledgeville made possible the restoration of the old pump house located next to the water tower.

Rep. Graves’ Email Privacy Act Gaining Broad Support



tomgravescolor Washington, D.C. – Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14), who represents parts of Pickens County, along with Reps. Kevin Yoder (R-KS-03) and Jared Polis (D-CO-02), today announced continued and growing support for H.R. 1852, the Email Privacy Act. Since introducing the legislation last week, Rep. Polis joined the effort as the lead Democrat sponsor and worked with Reps. Graves and Yoder to gather 75 cosponsors for the bill. The congressmen are continuing aggressive outreach efforts to build broad bipartisan support in the House.




“With the latest concerns over abuse of government power, members are supporting the Email Privacy Act as a vehicle to ensure their constituents’ right to privacy. The American people deserve to have their right to email privacy, and the government’s limitations, clearly defined,” said Rep. Graves.


Pickens County: A Community That Cares



Pickens Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy


Free books with literacy support materials to all Pickens County children under the age of 5 each month.

Registration forms are available around the county including the lobby of the Chamber of Commerce and Pickens County Public Library.   

Also you can register a child online at

To change address contact us at Pickens Ferst, PO Box 2062, Jasper, GA 30143 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



Pickens County Head Start/Pre-K


We provide children with a comprehensive program to meet their educational, social, nutritional, health, emotional and psychological needs. Located in Tate. There is no cost. Meal and afterschool care rates may apply for some families.

Head Start hours: Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pre-K hours: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Before and After School hours are available. We follow Pickens County BOE School Calendar.

Phone: 770-735-3434

Fax: 770-735-4915



Angels on Horseback, Inc.


Therapeutic Horseback Riding for people with Mental, Physical, Emotional Issues or for people with no issues at all! Volunteers, FREE!  Students, $25 - $40 hourly cost.


42 Beth Avenue,  Jasper,  Ga.  One block behind Roland Tire off South Main, Jasper. Hours: Tuesday, 2:30 – 6:30,  Saturday, 8:00 – 12:00.


Contact -  Leslie Elliott,  (h) 770 893-1992,  (c) 770 355-5726




GED Preparation Classes at 

Chattahoochee Tech

GED preparation classes at  Chattahoochee Technical College/Appalachian Campus, Room 127. Please contact the center for days/times.

GED classes are free.

Amy Denney at 706-253-4527 or Holly Holt at 706-253-4517



Community Food Pantry

Food/Financial/Educational (TCC) Assistance at CARES


  Food: Monday 1:00-3:00, Wednesday 10:00-12:00 (new clients and emergencies), Friday 8:30-12:00.

TCC:       Monday 1:-2:30 and Fridays 9:00-11:30.

CARES/89 Cares Drive/ Jasper, GA 30143/ (706) 253-4777

Financial:  (706) 253-4778.  Leave a message.  It will be answered on the following Wednesday.


The Good Shepherd Ranch

The Good Shepherd Ranch is a faith based ministry that offers residential, family style living for at risk boys. 

We are licensed by the state of Georgia to provide care for boys who are dealing with their sense of abandonment, depression, misplaced anger, and stress – kids in survival mode who can’t focus on the present or the future.  

The Good Shepherd Ranch is located at 601 Moore Road, Jasper, GA  30143. Someone is there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Good Shepherd Ranch offers a sliding fee scale.

Contact LaVerne Ombadykow

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Life Prescription Counseling


Individual and Family Counseling for Children, Adolescents, and Adults. Further information is available on the website at

Life Prescription Counseling is located 501 North Main Street

Jasper, GA 30143 from 9 a.m. to 8 p. m., Monday through Friday

Counselors accept Medicaid, Insurance, and use a sliding fee for individuals who have limited funds and not insurance. Contact Jeannie Mauldin at 706-402-3524 for appointments.



North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network

The North Ga. Mtn. Crisis Network, Inc. is a non-profit, non-denominational, charitable organization for battered women and children. There is no cost for the service.

They serve Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens Counties. Plus a 24 hour Crisis Hotline 1-800-33-HAVEN.

Contact our website at



 Appalachian Family Law Information Center (AFLIC)


We assist residents of Pickens, Gilmer, and Fannin counties who wish to represent themselves in domestic legal matters.  We offer form packets and instructions in divorces, child custody, legitimations, and other domestic cases. Courthouses of Pickens, Gilmer, Fannin Counties By appointment.

To receive a consultation, the individual must qualify for services based on income. Form packets are $10 without minor children and $15 with minor children and can be purchased from AFLIC or the Clerk of the Superior Court in each county. Packets are available for free download at

Contact Jacque Elwarner, Program Coordinator, 

706 299 1444, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Pickens County Family 



Collaborative meetings in the Pickens room of the County Administration Building, 1266 East Church Street Jasper. second Wednesday of each month from 8 a.m. -9:15 a.m. No Cost.

Speakers and networking opportunity.

Jackie Childers, Coordinator 

770-894-3043 cell / work

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Prevent Child Abuse Pickens

– FOOTSTEPS FOR FAMILIES program is available for all families delivering at Piedmont Mountainside Hospital.  This program offers support and information to all new parents.


PARENTS AS TEACHERS helps parents understand child development and connects them to the resources they need.  As a Parents as Teachers family, you will receive personal home visits, monthly group activities, child development screenings, and a resource network.  PAT is open for all families pre-natal through age 4.  

Footsteps for Families is provided at Piedmont/Mountainside and Parents as Teachers is provided in the family home and groups are at various locations. Monday – Friday 8:30 – 5:00.  Some groups are provided in the evening and sometimes on Saturday. Services are free and voluntary

Contact Margy Lohman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 706-253-6488or visit our web at




Fishing Rodeo sees a lot of fish, a little rain and mud




By Bettina Huseby


 The Georgia Department of Natural Resources released 2,000 spotted rainbow trout into Cove Creek on Wednesday May 8, and 2,400 more on Friday. The Pickens County Sportsman’s Club oversaw this, as well as every other aspect of the 29th annual three day Fishin’ Rodeo,  which allows Senior Citizens, Handicapped Adults and local school kids to experience what it’s like to catch a fish.

   Weather conditions were perfect for fish.  Not so much, for people. Because of swiftly moving water from recent rains, nets which had been put in place to corral the fish broke away. Trout are farm-raised at 53 degrees, so they seemed to enjoy Cove Creek’s temperature at 62 and stuck around anyway. 


See complete story in this week's Progress.

Gov. Deal’s legislation regulating video poker machines awaiting signature

Opponents say convenience store casinos should be banned, not taxed

By Pam O’Dell,

Capitol Reporter

                  Governor Nathan Deal’s bill to regulate and tax class B gaming machines passed the Senate last Thursday ­­­35 to 16.  Class B machines are the video games often lining the back wall of convenience and liquor stores. The bill has passed the House and will likely be signed by the Governor.

     It was evident from hours of debate that few senators liked the bill. However, a no vote for a bill belonging to the Governor usually has considerable political consequences for any legislator.  Opposing senators from both parties created an atmosphere of confusion and obstruction, throwing up more than ten amendments - intended to communicate their displeasure -before finally voting along party lines.

    HB 487 puts the Georgia Lottery Corporation in charge of enforcing gaming law and gives the lottery up to ten percent of the proceeds of Class B machine profits to fund colleges and Pre-K programs.